By The SIL Blog Staff
Turns out that only three of us do New Years Resolutions…and the rest of us are realists (but that is a separate post). There were some moments that could be considered lights in the universal darkness that was 2016, we tried new things. These experiences may not have been connected to a specific resolution, but they all did connect to that item on our “bucket” or “to do” or “thing to get out of the way” or “let me just say I did it once” list(s). Today the SIL Blog staff answers the what, why, and the will of that one time we tried a new thing.
What was something you tried/did for the first time in 2016? Why 2016/now? Will you do it again?
I uprooted my life, it was terrifying. Dallas winters; I was over them: the ice/sleet/snow. I needed more consistent weather. If I do, it’s to move back but, I don’t really predict that’ll happen anytime soon…at least not for the next 3 years.
I moved out of my home, left my marriage and became a single mother. I learned that I am strong, independent and so much more bold than I ever thought I could be. I have always lived with a roommate or a family – this was my first foray into being the primary breadwinner in my home. I reached my limit of what I could tolerate from a relationship, the details of which are not up for discussion outside of my inner circle. There was a particular inciting event when I knew exactly what I needed to do, but it took me a long time to feel ready to do it.
Living alone with a toddler is no walk in the park (though it does involve a lot of trips to the park). It has been a bumpy and tough journey, often times with zero visibility on an unpaved road. I did not simply survive – I lived through it. I trust myself and my intuition in a way I never did before. I trust that I am equipped with everything that I need to be successful and that I am enough. I am not done healing, but I will have a long, beautiful scar to show for this.
I owe so much to my family, my friends, my son, my dog and my employer for helping me through this year. For the foreseeable future, yes, I will keep doing this. I will keep doing this and other uncomfortable things that help me grow and reach my potential.
Dining alone. I had a snafu with a friend where we missed each other for lunch so instead of ordering to-go like usual, I decided to be brave and dine alone! The brilliant book: Year of Yes forced me to make a list of all the things I avoided or tossed on the back burner “to do later.” Realized the time to live was now….not later. I ABSOLUTELY will be repeating this experience!
I have never worked on the line – in a manufacturing environment before – and this year, I helped build car doors (attach locks). I think it will make me a better lawyer – because I have a better understanding of my client and our team members. I don’t know if I will have another opportunity, but I would love to do it again.
Adding ‘standing up for myself’ to my self-care routine. A LOT of the time that meant standing up to Mean Me. And Mean Me’s fighting style is ‘stab you in the base of the neck with a rusty saw blade while stroking your face and whispering ‘you’re safe’ over and over.’ Standing-Up for yourself is hard. This.Is.Hard. It meant recognizing toxic thought patterns you may have laid down (often as your normal processing routine), forcing yourself to deviate from normal train of thoughts (aka avoiding spirals/meltdowns) and training yourself to react and think differently, to re-wire yourself. Why did I decide 2016 was the year to start taking care of myself? The realization that I wasn’t really doing it in the first place… no one else can do it for me. If yesterday’s mid-grade meltdown was any indication, I still need to work on this, so yeah I will be trying it again. I short circuit a lot. A LOT LOT LOT LOT. bleep. blorp. bloop.
Nothing – I am a big chicken!
[Note: Laura’s new thing? She’s blazing that multiple toddlers at once trail.]
As you can clearly see, trying something new does not have to start out with something big like skydiving or training for a marathon. Little things impact your life too. Don’t like mustard? Try mustard (unless you are allergic, then don’t be daft) what is the worst that can happen? Oh no I tried a new thing and it didn’t go well. Aren’t mistakes meant to be a learning tool/opportunity? They don’t ALWAYS have to be a bad thing. Sure mistakes have consequences, but would you rather live with a mistake made when trying something new or regret at not trying it at all? The ‘dammit, that didn’t work out how i thought’ fulfills you; while ‘i wonder if’ drains you. 2017 can be better if we don’t let our 2016 shames and fears follow us. Give yourself permission to live.
How do you prep to try new things? Well you seek out a support system and pick up new tools and resources that may help. You aren’t going to go camping without a tent are you? Start with the obvious: “self-help” section of your bookstore/library/amazon. We read a lot of the same books, here are some we picked up or became familiar with this year:
- The Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun, and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes (yes, that Shonda Rhimes).
- Big Magic Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert. There is a companion podcast called Magic Lessons.
- Daring Greatly: How the Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent & Lead by Dr. Brene Brown.
Do you have a recommendation for us? You know the drill, tell us in the comments. Did you try something new in 2016? Are you inspired to try something in 2017? We want to hear about it and probably will insist you guest blog your experiences. Maybe you writing on a blog can be the new thing you try? You can email us, slide into those DMs, or fill out this form. We literally can’t make it any easier for you.